- a form of the possessive case of she used as a predicate adjective: The red umbrella is hers. Are you a friend of hers?
- that or those belonging to her: Hers is the biggest garden on the block. Hers are the yellow ones.
- the objective case of she: We saw her this morning. Give this book to her.
- the possessive case of she (used as an attributive adjective): Her coat is the one on the chair. I’m sorry about her leaving.Compare hers.
- the dative case of she: I gave her the book.
- Informal. (used instead of the pronoun she in the predicate after the verb to be): It’s her. It isn’t her.
- Slang. a female: Is the new baby a her or a him?
pronoun, singular nominative she, possessive her or hers, objective her; plural nominative they, possessive their or theirs, objective them.
- the female person or animal being discussed or last mentioned; that female.
- the woman: She who listens learns.
- anything considered, as by personification, to be feminine: spring, with all the memories she conjures up.
noun, plural shes.
- a female person or animal.
- an object or device considered as female or feminine.
- something or someone belonging to or associated with herhers is the nicest dress; that cat is hers
- of hers belonging to or associated with her
- refers to a female person or animalhe loves her; they sold her a bag; something odd about her; lucky her!
- refers to things personified as feminine or traditionally to ships and nations
- mainly US a dialect word for herself she needs to get her a better job
- of, belonging to, or associated with herher silly ideas; her hair; her smoking annoys me
- refers to a female person or animalshe is a doctor; she’s a fine mare
- refers to things personified as feminine, such as cars, ships, and nations
- Australian and NZ an informal word for it 1 (def. 3) she’s apples; she’ll be right
- a female person or animal
- (in combination)she-cat
c.1300, hires, from her; a double possessive. Possessive pronouns in Modern English consist of the predicative (mine, thine, his, ours, yours, theirs) that come after the subject, and the attributive (my, thy, his, her, our, your, their) that come before it. In Old English and early Middle English, they were identical. To keep speech fluid, speakers began to affix an -n to the end of my and thy before words that began with vowels. This began late 13c. in the north of England, and by 1500 was standard.
Then the predicative and attributive pronouns split, and the pronouns in that class usually took up -s, the regular affix of possession. But the non-standard speech of the Midlands and south of England extended -n throughout (hisn, hern, yourn), a habit attested from 14c. and more regular than the standard speech, which mixes -s and -n.
mid-12c., probably evolving from Old English seo, sio (accusative sie), fem. of demonstrative pronoun se “the,” from PIE root *so- “this, that” (see the). The Old English word for “she” was heo, hio, however by 13c. the pronunciation of this had converged by phonetic evolution with he “he,” which apparently led to the fem. demonstrative pronoun being used in place of the pronoun (cf. similar development in Dutch zij, German sie, Greek he, etc.). The original h- survives in her. A relic of the Old English pronoun is in Manchester-area dialectal oo “she.” As a noun meaning “a female,” she is attested from 1530s.
Old English hire, third person singular feminine dative pronoun, which beginning in 10c. replaced accusative hie (see he). Cognate with Old Frisian hiri, Middle Dutch hore, Dutch haar, Old High German iru, German ihr.
Old English hire, third person singular feminine genitive form of heo “she” (see she).